Sunday, August 27, 2006

Candi Staton - 25/08/2006 @ Petrol, Antwerpen

I don't have too much to add beyond what has already been said by Ben Ratliff and Status Ain't Hood. I lean more towards Ratliff's appreciation ("it had a stop-and-start, by-the-numbers feeling") than Breihan's enthusiasm ("I walked in blind and walked out converted, and it's pretty great when that happens"). The set wss almost exactly the same, and I agree with both of them that "His Hands" was pretty much the only really haunting moment. The band was slightly different: no horns and it's highly unlikely the drummer was Staton's son. Overall, I vastly preferred Bettye Lavette's flayed voice and mix of earnest intensity with old-school showwomanship. In comparaison, Staton was rather superficial.

The show started with "Suspicious Minds," "I'm Just A Prisoner (Of Your Good Lovin')" and Merle Haggard's "You Don't Have Far to Go" and ended with the great "You've Got The Love" and "Young Hearts Run Free." The disco grooves ran deeper than the straight soul; the guitarist added some particularly good solos to the country songs. In between, she stated a preference for mature men who know what you need and when you need it over young fools (who, presumably, don't know either), declarared a generalised love for the audience, told a sad tale about the cycle of poverty and violence in the ghetto and recommended that we stand by our men, but also inquired as to who she was and what she was to us. It was the first encore I've seen taken so literally: they came back on and simply extended "Young Hearts Run Free."

I don't know if musicians really like the obligatory solo section. The drummer went all stony-faced during his solo, but his smile came back as soon as he returned to the groove. The Petrol crowd was appreciative, though. If you ever go to that cavernous docklands club, make sure to visit the chandelier in the back room: it's made entirely out of plastic glasses.